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Ben & Laura
We appreciate that you're taking a moment to look at our profile. We understand the importance of the decision you're making, and we know that the most important goal is a loving and safe home for your baby to grow up in. We are ready to give a child all our love and more. We respect your selflessness, and courage, and we look forward to sharing the journey ahead.
Laura's Birth Mother Story
At 18 I (Laura) found out two things in the same week. I had gotten into college and I was pregnant. Shock wasn't even the word for what I felt. I decided to focus on school and I'd figure it out when the time came. Eventually I got sick and ended up in the hospital. Someone asked, "Do you know what you're going to do?" That question was the one I'd been asking myself for months. I was given a phone number, that's when I met Paula, my son's mom. So I made a list that night of what I would have to do to keep my baby — quit school, a few jobs to make ends meet, and even with that my child would always be with a babysitter and I'd be paying someone to raise him anyway. He wouldn't do sports because I couldn't afford the equipment, no school trips, and so on. Basically, he would struggle because I wasn't ready to be a parent. Paula was with me every step from then on. My son, Josh, is now 17 and knows me and how he came to have his family. We have Christmas presents, birthdays, occasionally trips to see each other. He knows me and how much I love him. While it wasn't easy for me, I know the first lesson of being a mother better than most. Always put your child's happiness above your own wants and needs.
What It Means to Become Parents
What Laura looks forward to is the moment when a child runs to her for comfort — that moment that only can be made better by Mom holding you and telling you, "You'll be all right." Whether that's a broken heart or a scraped knee, we look forward to always being there for our child and making them feel better, regardless of the things that hurt them.
Ben can't wait to play in the yard, and hear the innocent giggles of a child. He wants to build forts in the living room and watch as their imagination runs wild, to teach them new things and help them grow.
We know being a parent means showing up at the big events in life, but more importantly being someone a child can trust, and know is always there for them, no matter what. They have to know that they come first in all things in your life. And once a child knows that they will always have a safe place to land and come back to when times are hard, a child can fly and become who they were born to be. We truly look forward to being that safe place and hope that our child will know we'll always be there cheering them on.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
We feel strongly that each person's culture represents large pieces of who they are as a person. We are fully committed to making sure that our children experience and respect other cultures. We travel to different areas of the world and will make sure that our child is taken to experience their origin countries. As well as making sure that they are exposed to other cultures as young people. We hope that our child will be taught sign language and Spanish by Ben's mother. Since Ben grew up in Miami with Cuban friends and family we visit often and love to experience music and food of their nationality. We know that it is important to note, that regardless of what culture our child is from, tolerance and equality will be always be top priority. A person is not defined by what they look like or the clothes they wear, but it's who they are as individuals that matters.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a two-story, three-bedroom house, with a movie room and a finished our basement with a game room and workshop. Most of the time you can find us in the movie room.
We are in East Tennessee, in a neighborhood that consists of families from all ages, many with children who are often playing outside. Every afternoon you can hear the shouts, laughter, joy and happiness of the children having fun playing all around the neighborhood.
Each year we have a neighborhood cookout, where we block off a street and everyone brings something. There are games, stories, and more. Ben once even set up an outdoor movie screen where some families brought their kids, and everyone laid out on blankets to watch movies in our lawn.
The schools are top-notch and the parents we speak to love the teachers. We have a great city park right up the road with a pool and water slide, a ton of things to climb on, and run through. It's a great safe and fun place to simply be a kid.
Our Extended Families
Our home is constantly full of family and friends. We hold game nights regularly at our home with neighbors and family coming by to join in the fun. Sometimes we go to the family creek, where you will catch the kids running around and playing frisbee with the grownups, while food cooks on the grill.
Ben has one sister who works in advertising and lives in Asheville with her boyfriend of several years who is a cardiovascular nurse and his daughter. His parents live about ten minutes away from us. His mom is a retired school teacher and is fluent in sign language and Spanish. His father is a retired COO of the largest fresh cut flower company in the U.S. We often do family dinners on Sunday at their house. This will be their first grandchild and they are beyond excited!
Laura has one brother, he and his wife are active military, with a son whom we are the Godparents of. They live in Virginia about eight hours away but we do video chats and visit often. Her mother lives about two hours away in North Carolina, but spends at least two weeks each month in Tennessee with us. Her extended family is quite large with tons of kids and we see them a lot as they visit us or we go down there.
Thanksgiving and Christmas is spent with family from both sides, near and far, as well as close friends, and varies on location. There are some fun traditions, like the week our now teenage Goddaughter spends at our house, or the 32 year old gift box that gets reused each year. To buying our annual tree ornament that's meaningful to a big moment or event that year.
Everyone is excited for this new child. The support and joy expressed by our parents and siblings is amazing. They are all gearing up to take on their new roles as grandparents, aunts, and uncles, etc.
From Us to You
We would like to thank you for taking a moment to read this letter. We truly understand what a big decision you are trying to make and have nothing but the utmost respect for you.
Long before we met, Laura made the similar choice to place her baby with adopted parents. She knows and understands the struggles that are going through in your mind. Please know that your decision to consider adoption, while not an easy one, speaks volumes about who you are as a person. She understands big questions like, "Will my child know me?" "Will they hate me for the decision I'm making?" and even the little questions like, "What parts of me will he or she get?" Laura had those same questions and she can tell you that in her experience the family she chose helped create her answers for her.
Laura's son, Josh, knows her, they talk on the phone and have an open relationship, which has helped him grow. He has met Ben, Laura's brother's family and her mom. Because of the open relationship they have, he is able to ask the questions which help him understand that he was absolutely loved and because of that, he loves Laura for the decision that she made. We say all this because, this is the type of relationship that we hope our child can have with you. We want our child to know that they came to us out of love and a want for a better future for them. We know that's the goal that every one of us wants.
We have been together for 12 years and have an extremely strong and loving relationship. When we first started dating we talked about how badly we both wanted to have a family in the future. We had long talks about the past and about what memories we wanted to experience with a child - small things like teaching them to tie a shoe or make a pancake, and large things like seeing them go off to college or get married. Once we were married and had a few years as a newlywed couple, we started trying to have a child. After a year of no luck, we visited the doctor and found out that Laura had severe endometriosis. Three surgeries and months of injections later, with each month ending in yet another negative test, we were still nowhere closer to our dream than before. We decided to wait for a year and let us mourn the loss of the two children that never fully developed. We decided that we needed to pour our time and energy into finding the child that was meant for our family.
Each of us has so much to teach a child and we dream of the kind and amazing person that we will get to raise, surrounded by a large group of family and friends who are excited to love this child as well. Our tribe is full of amazing people, most with children of their own, who can't wait to have play dates and grow up sharing memories with our future family. We are truly hoping to share the love and joy that we have for one another with a baby and we hope that you choose us to become your adoption family.
Ben & Laura
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